Declining fortune of African culture worries NAFEST participants

By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Participants at the ongoing National Festival of Arts and Culture in Kaduna, Wednesday, agreed that there is need to concentrate on the African folklore as an avenue towards saving the declining fortune of African culture in the country.

They were in unison that foreign cartons and stories have overtaken our local heritage, a development that has greatly contributed to the decadence in the society.

They also contended that, when properly harnessed, African stories could be a “money-spinning” venture if well packaged, and presented to the outside world using the latest technology available.

This is part of the discussion at the NAFEST 2017 colloquium holding in Kaduna, starting from Monday, 30th Nov., to Friday, 3rd Nov., 2017.

In her contribution, Mrs Nkem Osaeloka-Orakwe,  producer/director of the famous “Tails by Moonlight” on the Nigerian Television Authority, spoke on the need to work on the African folklore stories and put them on the 21 century platform, saying “if we get the mix right, Africa and Nigeria will be ready to go places.”

According to her, the move has become pertinent because the Internet has seriously affected the Nigerian child, adding that there’s need for an alternative platform.

She narrated some of the effects and influences on children as ‘not having manners,’ thus: “We need to package programs that will teach them how to respect, greet, and the importance of doing so. Folklore and the culture are related; so, we need to put them on the front burner.”

On his part, DG National Council of Arts and Culture, Olusegun Runsewe, said “The time has come for Nigerians to embrace peace and togetherness, irrespective of religion or tribe.”

He said that everyone will have to tell his story. “It is important we leave behind integrity, excellence and greatness. There is need for cultural diplomacy; everyone comes from a culture, and the culture has a base, which can be uprooted.”

He condemned the use of hate speech and instead called for the use of ‘cultural approach’ to control the menace, while emphasizing that “The nation’s cultural heritage needs to be sustained as the next wealth of the nation.”

Also speaking, chairman of the colloquium, Professor Sani Abba Aliyu, promised that specific actions will be identified and actions will be taken.

He said “As it is the tradition with this agency, a lot of issues, projects and actions will follow this program, and Nigerians will witness the change going forward.

“We are going to keep in touch with participants and be seeking ideas and follow-ups to make sure that the right thing is done,” he said.

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